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JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact email@example.com. 172 PROCEEDINGS OF THE AMERICAN HOSMER ALLEN JOHNSON, M. D. N. S. Davis, M. D., Chicago, 111. Dr. Hosmer Allen Johnson, of Chicago, was born in the town of Wales, in thewestern part of New York, October 6, 1822. He died at his home, in Chicago, February 26, 1891. His father was Samuel Johnson, a farmer, though possessed of but little property, and his mother was Sarah (Allen) Johnson, a woman of fair education and excellent qualities. During the son's infancy the family moved to Boston, N. Y., near Buffalo, where they continued to reside until 1834, and where he gained the first rudiments of his education in the common district school. When only twelve years old the family moved to Almont, Michigan, and commenced on a new and un- broken farm, where for the next six years he worked and enjoyed no school privileges whatever, and yet, by the valuable aid afforded by the mother, at the age of eighteen years he commenced teaching a small district school. His success was such that by teaching in winter and working in summer he was enabled to enter the academy at Romeo, Michigan, in 1844, and in two years qualified himself to enter the sophomore class at the University of Michigan, 1846. In 1848 his college course was interrupted by an attack of pulmonary hemorrhage, probably resulting from mechanical injury, and which caused him to visit St. Louis and Vandalia, where he spent the fol- lowing year, supporting himself by teaching school and still pur- suing his college studies. He returned to the university in the spring of 1849, passed his final examinations satisfactorily, and re- ceived the degree of bachelor of arts. While in Vandalia, 111., he became intimately acquainted with Dr. J. B. Herrick, who was practicing medicine in that place, and in whose office he first began reading medical books. In the autumn of 1850 he entered Rush Medical College, at Chicago, and in 1852 received the degree of doctor of medicine from that institution. The same year he received the degree of master of arts from the University of Michigan. Thus during the twelve years following the time he left the farm, at the age of eighteen years, he had solely by his own earnings completed both a general classical and professional education. Immediately SOCIETY OP MICROSCOPISTS. 173 after receiving his medical degree he became associated with Dr. William B. Herrick, professor of anatomy, in editing the North- western Medical and Surgical Journal, and the following year he was appointed lecturer on physiology in Rush Medical College. He rapidly acquired an excellent reputation both as a teacher and prac- titioner, and in 1855 was appointed professor of materia medica, therapeutics, and jurisprudence in the same college. In 1857 he accepted a transfer to the chair of physiology and general pathology, which he filled with signal ability until the spring of 1859, when he resigned and severed his connection with the college, much to the regret of his colleagues and the patrons of the school. In the mean- time he had continued more or less educational work, and from 1852 had been an active member of the Chicago Medical Society, the Illinois State Medical Society, and of the American Medical Asso- ciation ; and since 1853 he had also been a member of the Ameri- can Association for the Advancement of Science. Directly after leaving the faculty of Rush Medical College, Dr. Johnson was in- duced to unite with other parties in organizing the medical depart- ment of a new institution, called Lind University, on the basis of longer annual college courses and strictly graded classes. The new medical school was opened in the autumn of 1859, with Dr. John- son as president of the faculty and professor of materia medica and therapeutics. On account of the financial embarrassment of Lind University, the medical department was permitted, in 1864, to adopt an independent organization, with the name of Chicago Medical College ; but he continued to fill the office of president of the faculty, and with constantly increasing popularity he filled succes- sively the chairs of histology and general pathology, and of public hygiene and clinical medicine. He was also, during all the time, a member of the medical staff of the Mercy Hospital. In 1865. on account of the recurrence of a severe attack of pulmonary disease, he was induced to spend several months in Europe, but returned in time for commencing his college duties the next year. His health, however, again failed, and he deemed it necessary to seek the bene- fits of a foreign climate. Consequently, in 1866, he resigned his official positions in the faculty of the college, but was induced to accept the office of president of the board of trustees and the hon- orary title of emeritus professor of general pathology and public hygiene. Rest and change of climate enabled him to return home the following year with health greatly improved, when he was per- suaded to accept an associated professorship of principles and prac- 174 PROCEEDINGS OP THE AMERICAN tice of medicine, with the limited duty of lecturing only on the diseases of the throat and chest. This position he continued to hold until 1881, when, on account of frequent recurrences of bronchial irritation, apparently aggravated by the exercise of lecturing, he finally withdrew from all active teaching, but retained the title of emeritus professor of principles and practice of medicine, the office of president of the board of trustees, and an active interest in the prosperity of the college until his death. Dr. Johnson's mental activity and breadth of culture did not allow him to limit his work to the college duties and to his extensive pro- fessional practice, but he took an active interest in almost every important public enterprise. He was one of the founders and active supporters of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, the Chicago His- torical Society, the Chicago Astronomical Society, and the Illinois Microscopical Society. He became an early member of the Amer- ican Public Health Association, and was its president in 1889. For several years he was an active member of the Illinois State Board of Health and of the National Board of Health. During the war, from 1861 to 1864, he was the chief medical adviser of the governor of the State, by whom he was commissioned as adjutant general. He several times visited the hospitals and troops in the fields. After the great Chicago fire of 1871 he became one of the most efficient and untiring officers of the Relief Organization. For several years be- fore his death he was consulting physician to the Mercy Hospital, Cook County Hospital, St. Luke's, and Michael Reese Hospitals, and the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary; and in all except the last named he had previously served on the active staff of attendants. He was one of the secretaries of the American Medical Association in i860; served as secretary of the Illinois State Medical Society six years, and then as president. His reports, papers, and addresses to these societies were numerous and valuable. He became a mem- ber of the Masonic fraternity in 1853 and rapidly advanced to posi- tions of honor and influence. In 1855 he was orator of the Grand Lodge of Illinois. The next year he aided in the organization of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar, and in 1861 was an active member of the Supreme Council of Boston. Although thus engaged in a great variety of work, he was nevertheless a very busy, skillful, and much-loved general practitioner of medicine. His council was sought over a wide district of country, and few men have ever more justly commanded the confidence of those who em- ployed him. SOCIETY OF MICROSCOPISTS. 175 He was married to Margaret Ann Seward in 1855, and with her has spent a most congenial and affectionate domestic life. They were blessed with a son and a daughter. The latter died but a few years since, but the mother and son survive. The son, Frank Seward Johnson, was associated with his father in practice, and is well known as the professor of general pathology and pathological anatomy in the Northwestern University Medical School (Chicago Medical College). It has been well and truly said by another that " though Dr. John- son's youth was a battle with adverse fortune, and his later life a struggle with ill-health, his days were filled with work that was well done and that gained for him honor and fame ; and his death makes us, members of this Society, mourn the loss of one of our most esteemed and illustrious associates — a man of the broadest culture, a man of science, a physician of eminence, an eloquent teacher, a public-spirited citizen, a man of the greatest moral worth, a noble Christian."